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Title: Mapping a new country : textual criticism and Qur'an manuscripts
Author: Small, Keith E.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3417 367X
Awarding Body: London School of Theology
Current Institution: London School of Theology
Date of Award: 2008
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The aims ofthis thesis are to apply the two main goals of textual criticism as practiced with the New Testament to the text of the Qur'an: 1) to discern the earliest possible form of the text, and 2) to illumine the history of the text. A selection was made of small porti()ns of text of similar genre and length in both books (Acts 7:1-8 and Surah 14:35-41). The texts ofthese portions from twenty manuscripts from. each tradition are collated including the very oldest manuscripts available. The variants observed are intensively analysed, categories oftype are established and then used as the basis of comparison. The similarities and differences in kinds of variants are thoroughly explored, taking into account the differences in kinds of script, the effects of oral tradition on written transmission, and the role ofcentralised ideological control on the texts. These comparisons are then examined in regard to recovering the earliest possible forms of the texts of both traditions and illuminating the histories ofthe development ofthese texts into standardised text-forms. Intentional variants in both traditions are given special attention. The thesis concludes that whereas there is the strong possibility of recovering reliable versions ofthe earliest autographic forms of the New Testament books, there is not the possibility of recovering the earliest authoritative forms of the Qur'an. The current version is sho~ to be the result of a long and complex development to create a precise f~fin of the text supporting Islamic dogma, instead of a version preserving the earliest authoritative forms of the text. Also, it is shown that the oral tradition of the Qur'an was not strong enough to prevent alternative interpretive text-forms and was often dependent on reforms to the written text.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available